Raiders of the lost parks

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

AMAN who sowed seeds by fir­ing them from a shot­gun (re­cently re-cre­ated, right) will be cel­e­brated at the Har­ro­gate Au­tumn Flower Show (Septem­ber 15 to 17).

Regi­nald Far­rer, the father of the Bri­tish rock gar­den, who trav­elled from his home in Clapham, North York­shire, to gather plants in Asia, is not the only In­di­ana Jones-style plan­thunter fea­tured at the Great York­shire Show­ground this year. Un­der the theme ‘Post­cards from the Hedge’, the ex­hi­bi­tion also in­cludes Scot David Dou­glas, who died in Hawaii aged 35, leav­ing the Dou­glas fir as a legacy, and Ernest ‘Chi­nese’ Wil­son, who trav­elled back from China with more than 300 dif­fer­ent species, such as the re­gal lily.

‘With the vast ar­ray of plant va­ri­eties now avail­able to us, it’s easy to for­get that most of them have roots that reach the four cor­ners of the globe and that a small band of ded­i­cated peo­ple risked and, in some cases lost, their lives to bring us the ex­otic species to brighten our flower bor­ders,’ ex­plains di­rec­tor Nick Smith.

There will also be talks on the plan­thunters, as well as a gi­ant-veg­etable com­pe­ti­tion, nurs­ery dis­plays and more than 5,000 au­tumn blooms. Ad­vance day tick­ets start at £14 (www.flow­er­show. org.uk/au­tumn-flower-show-2017)

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